Case study

Ella’s Kitchen: transforming the organic baby food market

Organic baby and toddler food start-up company becomes the number 1 baby food brand in the UK, with support from Innovate UK.

Organic baby and toddler food start-up company becomes the number 1 baby food brand in the UK, thanks to support from Innovate UK.

Ella’s Kitchen leads organic baby food revolution

Ella’s Kitchen: transforming the organic baby food market

A baby food business supported by Innovate UK is transforming the market in both the UK and globally.

Ella’s Kitchen has developed a range of organic food for babies and toddlers. Company founder, Paul Lindley, describes the inspiration behind Ella’s Kitchen:

I was doing my weekly shop and I just couldn’t find anything that didn’t have loads of additives. I set up Ella’s Kitchen because I passionately believe that Ella, my daughter, along with her generation, should have the opportunity to eat better food and also to discover that healthy food can be fun, tasty and cool.

Ella’s Kitchen now sells its organic baby and toddler food globally. This includes Norway, Sweden and the USA. Ella’s Kitchen is the number 1 baby food brand in the UK - £1 in every £3 that’s spent on wet baby food in the UK is spent on Ella’s Kitchen. The company has a 20% share of the UK baby food sector with a global turnover of $100 million.

Paul Lindley explains the philosophy behind the company’s success:

Here at Ella’s Kitchen, we try really hard to be good in every sense – not just through the good food we make, but also by doing good stuff for our environment and giving stuff back to our local communities.

We’ve done research with parents, little ones, psychologists and supermarkets to understand the very important role that all 5 of the senses play in developing healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

Academic partnerships bring new knowledge

Ella’s Kitchen has taken part in 3 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with the University of Reading. This has helped them to bring new skills and knowledge to the business.

The first KTP in 2010 involved academics at Henley Business School and the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, both part of the University of Reading. This project helped the company develop a multi-sensory marketing approach and improve children’s enjoyment of healthy food.

For the second KTP, the focus was to transform the company’s approach to sourcing raw materials. As well as helping maintain consistent high quality products, this also reduced costs.

With its third KTP, the company is aiming to improve food packaging to gain competitive advantage. Both the second and third KTPs involved the University’s School of Food and Nutritional Sciences.

Published 10 November 2016